An international research collaboration has identified bacteria in the bile duct as a potential risk factor in the development of bile duct cancer, or cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), a rare but aggressive form of cancer with symptoms that do not present themselves at the early stages.
To address this gap, the team of researchers profiled the tissue microbial community of liver fluke-infected and non-infected CCA based on the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene, a highly conserved marker gene for studying different bacterial lineages.
Dr. Stegall’s Comments: There are many theories as to how cancer develops, and one of them is that cancer starts as a bacteria. The idea that bacteria could cause cholangiocarcinoma is an interesting one, as it would suggest a possible target for treatment using off-label antibiotic regimens. I typically include a low dose antibiotic given intravenously in periodic fashion as part of my treatment protocols, in case there is a bacterial component.